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Social Security Faces Benefit Cuts by 2035 Without Congressional Action; Medicare in Slightly Better Position

Social Security (Credits:

The reports released by the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare programs indicate that without legislative action, these vital entitlement programs will face serious financial challenges in the coming years. While there have been slight improvements in the financial outlook, the situation remains precarious.

The Social Security trust funds are projected to be exhausted by 2035, one year later than previously forecasted. After that, only 83% of benefits owed will be covered by payroll tax revenue and other income sources.

Similarly, Medicare’s financial condition has improved, with its hospital insurance trust fund expected to be able to cover scheduled inpatient hospital benefits until 2036.

Social Security trust funds depletion date moves up to 2034 (Credits: The Epoch Times)

The fate of these programs is likely to become a focal point in the presidential campaign, with both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump pledging to protect Social Security and Medicare. However, concrete proposals to address the looming shortfalls have been scarce.

The aging population and rising healthcare costs are major factors contributing to the financial strain on these programs. While improvements in labor productivity and lower disability benefit projections have partially offset the challenges, the need for legislative action remains urgent.

Medicare and Social Security go-broke dates pushed back (Credits: CBS News)

Despite the pressing need for reform, Congress has been hesitant to address the issue due to its contentious nature. However, delaying action will only limit the options available for addressing the shortfall.

Lawmakers must act soon to ensure the long-term sustainability of Social Security and Medicare, possibly by considering measures such as raising the retirement age or adjusting payroll tax thresholds.

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